It took my husband and I ten years to have our first baby. During most of that time, Mother’s Day was a horrible time for me. I would usually duck out of church early before they handed out the Mother’s Day gift to “all women over 18 years old”. They were trying not to offend those who hadn’t yet had children, but to me it felt like a pity gift. I remember being at church with my in-laws one year for Mother’s Day and my mother-in-law making me stand and accept the gift they were handing out while tears streamed down my face. We both went home right after that and had a good long cry together.
Then, I started to hear of moms who didn’t like Mother’s Day because it made them feel like they weren’t perfect enough. Since having my own children, I’ve never felt that way myself but I did have a couple of years when I was very disappointed that my children weren’t behaving perfectly and giving me a nice break on MY day. All these feelings, although very different, are coming from a place of thinking about ourselves and our own feelings of inadequacy. What if we could change that focus?
I was talking with my own mom about this whole thing and she shared a very different perspective. She said that Mother’s Day should have an outward focus . . . instead of focusing on ourselves, we should be thinking about celebrating our Moms and all the great women in our lives who have played a role in mothering us. We all come from different circumstances, but I hope each one of us have had a great mothering figure, either in our own mom, a relative, or a friend that we can think of and celebrate on Mother’s Day.
I also just read a great idea about rescuing Mother’s Day by Shawna Morrissey of Eat, Think, and be Merry and she has a great idea to help moms think outside of themselves on Mother’s Day by thinking about their kids and what a great blessing it is to be a mom. I think I’m going to do that myself this year. There’s also this great idea of giving time to Moms this weekend and I’d love to spend some time with my daughters teaching them a little bit more about mothering and helping them grow up with a desire to be a mom.
I would love to see Mother’s Day as a day when not one single woman was beating herself up over what she lacks but instead being able to turn our focus outside of ourselves and celebrate what I believe is the true spirit of Mother’s Day – the great women in our lives. Please leave a comment if you’re going to turn your focus outside of yourself this Mother’s Day; I’d love to hear what you’re doing!